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Day 146 Mon-Tues 25-26 Feb 2019 Clear sky, so bright sunny day and starry night sky

Monday 11pm Creeping along at just over 2kt. When the wind generator blades are hardly turning, that's a good sign of very little wind!

Moon peeking out from behind scattered cloud, stars shining brightly in gaps between clouds.

Tuesday 10am Sunny day - clear blue sky. Feeling fired after a long session last night trying to resolve a software problem relating to viewing weather info. Important to have that working OK. Think I might have finally managed it - I hope so! - but doing it cut into my sleep overnight and I cancelled my usual 0230Z radio sked on 7160kHz.

Trying to head upwind in NNW wind is proving a real struggle - wind strength is fair - 12kt? - but we can only just make E, slightly N of E at times, at around 3kt, rather than the planned ENE course. Having to use a lot of rudder weather helm to offset the genoa pulling off the wind - and that slows us down, of course.

Not feeling very comfortable with the situation just now.

Wind will stay N until the Cold Front on this Low has passed, at which point it will back to W and then to SW - late tomorrow, if forecast is correct

There's a big, fat High pressure area well S in the Indian Ocean that is right in our path - that will cause a problem when we get further E from here, with its light winds and likely headwinds- it reaches a long way S.

1:30pm Feeling rather better on seeing that we're managing to make a course to NE now, at around 3.5kt, although dropping down at times ... A far better course than earlier. Not sure why the difference, since wind should be from N now.. Maybe it veered for a time and reduced to give less boat speed?

Trying to catch up on sleep in between frequent checking of course and speed.

Still sunny, mostly clear but quite a lot of white cloud in N now.

7:20pm Sunset half an hour ago... getting dark. Mainly clear sky but low cloud in W on horizon.

We were heeling quite a lot, so furled in genoa to almost 2nd reef mark - speed not much changed but heeling a bit less - making just over 4kt. COG (course) becoming more E of ENE as wind slowly veers more. Prepared to furl in more genoa, as and when needed. Have staysail in use also, ready for the rather stronger N wind forecast for overnight. Trying hard not to head S of E but means we're very close-hauled - a difficult and uncomfortable point of sail in the present seas.

Made brief radio contact with W. coast - spoke to several there and also a couple of S.African stations. Reporting good radio signal from 'Nereida' - as is often the case, despite our low power output - the saltwater of the sea acts as an excellent ground!

9pm Beautifully clear night sky - millions of bright stars everywhere - and Milky Way like spilt dust, thrown across them all. Moon has not yet risen, so stars look all the brighter.

Being on deck at night has other lovely advantages - the boat moving through the water causes sudden bright diamond-sparks in the sea beside the hull, from tiny creatures disturbed by our motion.

Rough seas are tossing us around a lot - we're close-hauled, making just over 4kt due E - wind has veered a touch to just E of N.

1900GMT (=2200LT) - end of Day 146. We made 72 n.ml. DMG over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 146 (by daily DMGs): 13,580 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 3275 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape of Tasmania LH: 4247 n.ml. to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 1232 n.ml. to NW; Cape Town Hbr entrance: 1325 n.ml. to NW; Marion Isl: 534 n.ml SW; Kerguelen Isl: 1146 n.ml. SE; St Paul Isl: 1495 n.ml. E; Halfway point (55 18'E): 467 n.ml.

Position & weather report, for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/02/26 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 39-41.19S LONGITUDE: 045-10.00E COURSE: 090T SPEED: 4.2kt


BARO: 1010.5hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 20.0C SEA_TEMP: 23.0C

COMMENT: Well reefed down! Rough seas, tossed around a lot, close-hauled

Written by : Jeanne Socrates